D.W. Griffith is down to common picture making in this one. It is strange to witness a Griffith film directed by him in a straight manner.
As W.C. Fields made his legit stage hit in the musical Poppy as the carnival showman, so does he here scream his screen debut as a film funny man in Sally. And Fields plays them as well as on the stage. He gives a smoothness to his comedy stuff that cannot be missed.
Griffith follows the stage story but sparsely. The director slips in pathos and sentiment in his masterly manner without too much of either, but he allows the comedy to go at full tilt.
Sally is an orphan, her mother a gentlewoman from New England, having married a theatrical man against her parents’ wishes. When her mother dies, Prof McGargle takes charge of Sally, bringing her up as his daughter with the girl unaware of her parentage.